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My solo was shot down!

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
I was asked by this internet fusion band to lay down a saxophone solo for them. They heard some of my work and so I was asked.
It's a very long piece, approx 12 minutes in length. My solo is approx 30 seconds and so I'll only link that portion.
The reason I'm only presenting the solo portion is because it was shot down by the individuals who make up the band and I'd like 'listener's opinions'. They said the solo was conflictive? Conflictive? Really? Okay, it's their piece. They asked me! And no I don't give them more than one unless I get paid! I think I was fair.

I'm not a rock, or even fusion type of sax player, which kind of puzzled me why they asked based on some of the saxophone work on my Soundclick page, but hey, I gave it a shot.
Honestly, do you feel it was not in the piece's best interest, upon hearing it? Please, it's cool, be honest with me. I'd really like to know. I thought it was good enough and I was surprised it didn't make the grade. It was for free. They did ask for more but they wouldn't pay and so I don't play.
Too frenetic maybe? Yeah, possibly, but so what? I felt I was responding to the the driving rhythm. My interpretation of it.

Doing collabs is not really my thing but it was so different then what I usually do and that's why I tried it. It wasn't fully mixed so the sax may be a bit up front. It never made the final mix down.
http://www.box.com/s/s464o2y50xhlvedvobrc
 

dubrosa22

Senior Member
Messages
413
Location
Sydney, Australia
I really like your technique and tone and you've got a lot going on musically in just 30secs but for some reason it doesn't sit too well.
Kinda feels like the wrong key????
I must be wrong there - but it has that feeling of not quite gelling with the rest of the band.

It's a really cool solo - just not the style for the band I guess. :)
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,871
Location
Costa Blanca Spain
I think you got your answer with your own comment, too frenetic. Mike, the playing was great, but as a listener, it was too busy for me. But what matters is what they thought, and there's nowt you can do about that.
Best wishes
Mike
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,303
Location
London
I sincerely think it is great.
But you decided to run a risk.

In a paid job I would have recorded at least two possible solos. In this case I guess you played what you felt and they were expecting a session man for free.

If you feel frantic, play frantically, if you feel like shouting, shout.
In a professional situation it is different. I have been a professional for years, and now I struggle to play "my way", in order to please the listener/colleagues.
 
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Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
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2,770
Location
Ilkley West Yorkshire
Can't see anything wrong with that. Frantic, yes frenetic, yes. It makes a definite statement and contrasts well with the jangly chorused guitar. If they wanted a certain sound/feel they should have given you direction.Tell 'em to stuff it.
Keep honkin Mike.
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
15,161
Location
Virginia
Apart from the mix (solo was obviously too loud and not sitting), I think that's a great solo and really works well, however it does take the track to a different place. If that's the place the band don't want the track to go I suppose that is up to them.

If it was an actual studio situation, it would have been easy enough to direct the solo to suit what they wanted. Plus money would change hands!

Very small point, the only criticism I would have is the solo doesn't kind of end in a way that (to me) suits the track. As I said, it takes the track to a different place, the solo just kind of stops and we are thrown straight back to that first place which is a bit unsettling. Of course you had no control over where the track was going after your solo, but perhaps if the solo had led us gently back to that first place it would have been better…(for me anyway)
 

Chris

Well Known
Café Supporter
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3,821
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Manchester,England
Hey Mike keep on playing fella that was good, your solo suited the backing very well, which seemed to go all edgy and intense, pity you where working with guys that couldn't hear that.. Perhaps they could have given you more input as to just what they were looking for...Chalk it down to experience and just move on..

Chris..
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,028
Location
Essex
Superb solo :welldone really wish I could play fast and furiously like that! :welldone - but I agree with Pete, that it takes the number to another kind of style very suddenly in a blast of energy which doesn't quite suit the backing, perhaps more subtle and melodic would have worked - but yes why on earth couldn't they have just directed you to play it in a slightly different way?! In my band if go too jazzy our "leader" just says "make it less jazzy and more melodic" or vice versa or whatever is required. I would be very upset if that was me and they hadn't given me a second chance especially after they already knew how you played, have you said anything?
 

Clivey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,229
Location
Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
Hi Mike. I kind of agree with Chris but would say that I did not any hear any attempt to “bed” the solo into the main piece. I think a little production technique would sort this out.

If I had submitted a solo for free I would expect it to be mixed in by decent producer or I at least would have a go with the track myself. You have a fabulous sound Mike. but unfortunately sometimes the only way to get things to work in the mix is by processing the recording until it resembles what a lot of "non horn guys think sounds like a Sax".

We've all been conditioned to hearing a certain kind of tone when we hear Sax within a modern non Jazz context, and when we do sessions it can sometimes be a case of " fire and forget".


Finally. I definitely thought the solo had a lot to offer musically as far as contributing and offering variety to the dreamy and almost monotonous backing track.
 
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rudjarl

Senile Member. Scandinavian Ambassadour of CaSLM
Messages
657
Location
Løten, Norway
I think it was a great solo, make no mistake about it. But one thing puzzles me. You say they asked you because they had heard some of your work. And to be honest, most of your work (on your web pages at least) is much more 'contained' than your... how shall I put it... drizzle of a solo. :) I have no idea what they have heard of your work before, but if it was close to what's on your website, they sure was in for a surprise.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,495
Location
West Midlands
Great sound lots of energy but to much going on,too many notes,maybe only needed one phrase of fast notes per 30sec,but i still thought it was good.

Brian
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
dubrosa22
I really like your technique and tone and you've got a lot going on musically in just 30secs but for some reason it doesn't sit too well.
Kinda feels like the wrong key????
I must be wrong there - but it has that feeling of not quite gelling with the rest of the band.
It's a really cool solo - just not the style for the band I guess.
I understand. Wrong key? I was using concert B minor, so my C#. I was using a lot of chromatics so maybe that threw ya. Thanks dub!

Jeremyjuicewah
I think you got your answer with your own comment, too frenetic. Mike, the playing was great, but as a listener, it was too busy for me. But what matters is what they thought, and there's nowt you can do about that.
Yeah, I figured that when I got their response. Well, there's nothing I want to do about it. They only the one being it was for free. Yes, it's their work and their right to reject. Thanks Jeremy!


Aldevis
I sincerely think it is great.
But you decided to run a risk.
In a paid job I would have recorded at least two possible solos. In this case I guess you played what you felt and they were expecting a session man for free.
If you feel frantic, play frantically, if you feel like shouting, shout.
In a professional situation it is different. I have been a professional for years, and now I struggle to play "my way", in order to please the listener/colleagues.
Online collabs are always a risk but not a pressured one. They are what they are. Sure, if I was paid, then I cater to the people paying me but this is not the case. Yes, I felt like shouting....lol...exactly!
I was never one, in a free market, to play as I was told to. The end result is either I'm liked or I'm not. Thanks Aldevis!

Andrew Sanders
Can't see anything wrong with that. Frantic, yes frenetic, yes. It makes a definite statement and contrasts well with the jangly chorused guitar. If they wanted a certain sound/feel they should have given you direction.Tell 'em to stuff it.
Keep honkin Mike.
Ah, now you understand me a tad. I love being in a contrasting situation. Musically, I'm not much of a comformer. Music is too individual for me. Right, they left it up to me and so I put down how I felt in regards to the music being played. Nah, I wasn't belligerent but I did feel thier reason was not a suitable one, but only in regards to me. I wasn't respectful to the thematics, or aura of what the guitarist was playing. But that's just my own perspective. My perspective is that the solo should reflect the individual in how the individual relates to the music. If that's not the case, then they should have solo'd on it themselves! Thanks Andrew!

Pete Thomas
Apart from the mix (solo was obviously too loud and not sitting), I think that's a great solo and really works well, however it does take the track to a different place. If that's the place the band don't want the track to go I suppose that is up to them.
If it was an actual studio situation, it would have been easy enough to direct the solo to suit what they wanted. Plus money would change hands!
Very small point, the only criticism I would have is the solo doesn't kind of end in a way that (to me) suits the track. As I said, it takes the track to a different place, the solo just kind of stops and we are thrown straight back to that first place which is a bit unsettling. Of course you had no control over where the track was going after your solo, but perhaps if the solo had led us gently back to that first place it would have been better…(for me anyway)
Yes, I mentioned that it was not a final mixdown. My intention was to take it to a different place or why bother? Why think alike? What's the point in asking someone else outside the band to come in and think exactly like the rest of the band? Why ask me? Because of a piece of brass I blow into? They can get synthetics for that. Different individual/instrument should exude different sequence/expression. Our environments are eons apart. So, I was giving them a taste of my environment and how I relate to their environment.
Yes, naturally, it's their say, not mine and being in a free context I have no problem with that whatsoever. This is all out of curiosity and how others see this situation.
Right Pete, you're a well versed studio man. I've done studio work and I know the environment to some degree. Things are laid on the table and discussed how something should go that is in the piece's best interest. This was an online collab where no physicality is experienced.
My way of thinking, as in the solo, was to be abrupt and leave abruptly because of the sequence before and after. I like the phrase you use 'we are thrown straight back'. My objective! Obviously not a pleasing one for everyone, which I understand. Thanks Pete!

Chris
Hey Mike keep on playing fella that was good, your solo suited the backing very well, which seemed to go all edgy and intense, pity you where working with guys that couldn't hear that.. Perhaps they could have given you more input as to just what they were looking for...Chalk it down to experience and just move on..
I really wouldn't say I was working with them. We never came in contact. I had a piece of their music on my sequencer and I played to it. Nothing special actually. I did it on a whim because after I hear their work I felt it would be out of my usual norm. I'm sure they're nice guys and they are very discerning about their music and what goes into it. Apparently, it was just a conflict of ideas. Thanks Chris!

Artylady
Superb solo really wish I could play fast and furiously like that! - but I agree with Pete, that it takes the number to another kind of style very suddenly in a blast of energy which doesn't quite suit the backing, perhaps more subtle and melodic would have worked - but yes why on earth couldn't they have just directed you to play it in a slightly different way?! In my band if go too jazzy our "leader" just says "make it less jazzy and more melodic" or vice versa or whatever is required. I would be very upset if that was me and they hadn't given me a second chance especially after they already knew how you played, have you said anything?
I'm petulant behind the saxophone at times! lol...Melodic is a subjective term here because in all those notes I felt the chromatics were melodic. But that's only how I heard it. I felt a flow in those notes.
I guess they were curious in how I would interpret the track and possibly they were anticipating some jazz oriented type of sequences. That's my guess. Why would I want a second chance? The platform was they asked me to lay down a solo. After they didn't like the one you heard they asked for more and I said not until I get paid. They aren't willing to do that and they just want more stuff for free. Thanks Artlady!

Clivey
Hi Mike. I kind of agree with Chris but would say that I did not any hear any attempt to “bed” the solo into the main piece. I think a little production technique would sort this out.
If I had submitted a solo for free I would expect it to be mixed in by decent producer or I at least would have a go with the track myself. You have a fabulous sound Mike. but unfortunately sometimes the only way to get things to work in the mix is by processing the recording until it resembles what a lot of "non horn guys think sounds like a Sax".
We've all been conditioned to hearing a certain kind of tone when we hear Sax within a modern non Jazz context, and when we do sessions it can sometimes be a case of " fire and forget".

Finally. I definitely thought the solo had a lot to offer musically as far as contributing and offering variety to the dreamy and almost monotonous backing track.
I don't think they cared to go that far Clivey. They just didn't like it and so they felt that doing any type of processing wasn't worth their time. Yeah, the sax does have it's stigma. The reality is a saxophone is not bound to anything. it's up to the individual to make the instrument correspond to the individuals personality. Thanks Clivey!

Rudjari
I think it was a great solo, make no mistake about it. But one thing puzzles me. You say they asked you because they had heard some of your work. And to be honest, most of your work (on your web pages at least) is much more 'contained' than your... how shall I put it... drizzle of a solo. I have no idea what they have heard of your work before, but if it was close to what's on your website, they sure was in for a surprise.
I think they may have wanted something like they heard in my other saxophone work. Less frenetic!
More contained. Yes, I didn't want to be predictable. It was for free and in that non paying situation I wanted to be exactly how I heard it. A paying situation would have changed everything. Thanks Rudjari!

Jazz doh
Great sound lots of energy but to much going on,too many notes,maybe only needed one phrase of fast notes per 30sec,but i still thought it was good.
I wanted lots of energy as in the contrast. What I don't understand is that some are saying it's a great solo, yet it doesn't fit. Then that shouldn't make it a great solo because apparently the solo is out of context. I do understand where everyone is coming from and I do respect the views presented here.
This is why I presented it. i wanted to get a better idea how others think along these lines. Thanks Jazzdoh!

Thanks again everyone for taking the time to listen and respond!
Much appreciated!
Mike
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
Mike, think it was just a little too Zappaesque / xenochronic for their tastes ....
I'll take that as a compliment, thank you! However, xenochronicity doesn't apply here. But maybe you're on to something. I could always place that solo on to something in the future to have it not go to waste.
 

Lorraine

Member
Messages
36
Location
Brighton, England
Hey!

Probably don't mean a lot coming from me - but I loved it :thumb: - who says you have to resolve and settle - not me that's who! -

Perhaps - from my point of view - four notes (in total!) too many, there were gaps which I liked :welldoneand (I think) you clearly tried to fit in with what they were trying to do. In my (limited) experience it had a John Lurie feel to it. Listened to it 4 times already.... xx
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
Hey!

Probably don't mean a lot coming from me - but I loved it :thumb: - who says you have to resolve and settle - not me that's who! -

Perhaps - from my point of view - four notes (in total!) too many, there were gaps which I liked :welldoneand (I think) you clearly tried to fit in with what they were trying to do. In my (limited) experience it had a John Lurie feel to it. Listened to it 4 times already.... xx
Well, thank you Lorraine!
Your opinion is as important as anyone else's here!
Yeah, I was cramming to get in as much as I could. I just felt it needed something energetic. Chromaticism fulfilled that bill for me. Who plays predominately chromatic these days, especially in a rock/fusion type of setting? No one comes to mind actually. I'm sure some, but I'm not aware of them.
Possibly the ear isn't comfortable with this type of linear sequence. I simply responded to a musical situation musically and that's about the essence of it...

Much appreciated Lorraine!
 

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